Origin stories are paramount . The primary focus when looking to sources that will enhance my knowledge on any subject. So when coming across a post on this Women’s Lit (course) blog referencing a doc about women in punk, I thought I’d found a new source to add to my arsenal in support of my film. Instead, there was no indication of which punk women it was about (US? UK? other?), what time in the punk pantheon was being featured (recently? further back?) or where it’d been broadcast (television? film? student union?) I thought more would make itself evident when clicking through to the linked YouTube page. However, when it finished loading there were only questions.
Once the video started playing, I recognized it immediately as a segment entitled “Typical Girls” (named after the seminal Slits song) from the BBC TV documentary “Punk”. Sources report it first aired in 1976, though conflict on whether it was November, December, or some time in 1977. The credit for who is consistent, the inimitable author and TV presenter Janet Street-Porter as part of the London Weekend Show.
The earliest instance I came across was on Dangerous Minds, where it focused on the segment for the Sex Pistols. I later found the Typical Girls segment, which I turned into the first post on my punk women Tumblr page. The larger piece is an invaluable and rare snapshot of that moment in time. It captures the essence of the music and confronts the atmosphere that informed the start of punk in the UK.
This film is a must watch for anyone interested in the raw, unpredictable and exciting nature of the birth of punk. Not only does it have some incredible live footage, it also features rare (and now archival worthy) interviews with many of the players at that time.
After some digging, I found it posted in five parts on YouTube. Enjoy!
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9CtYLDHhsw
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wk_ml4xkxU&feature=relmfu
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfxaRGcQhEg&feature=relmfu
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B5VrGE9IX8&feature=relmfu
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuBj9sFW1Z0&feature=relmfu